Mozilla treads a fine line between insulting and lavish praise on Apple

Mozilla Foundation's Alex Limi was pretty bold this week calling Apple, Inc.'s (AAPL) iOS version of Safari "a miserable experience".  But Mr. Limi, whose firm is seeking to become one of only a handful of true third-party browsers on iOS, back-pedaled a bit saying that Apple's built-in browser was still better than third-party browsers.

But he's confident that Firefox "Junior", the upcoming prototype app for the iPad, will be even better than Safari.  He comments, "So here comes the fun stuff.  There are a lot of reasons we should be on iOS even though we can't bring our rendering engine there.  We wanted to make something entirely new. We wanted to look into how we could reinvent the browser for a new form factor."

So how's the prototype shaping up?

Well the biggest missing feature a present is that there are no tabs.  But the browser otherwise looks slick in demoes, driven by a pair of button clusters midway up the screen.  On the right is a "+" button, which pops up a URL/search bar, "Favorites" text/icons on the side, and recent webpages up top.

Firefox Junior Firefox Junior Firefox Junior
[Image Source: The Verge]

The left button cluster houses forward, backward, and refresh buttons.

The browser currently supports multiple accounts, each with their own favorites.  Private browsing (for you iPad porn fiends) is also supported.  Mr. Limi says that the final feature set is still up in the air and being actively debated.

Interestingly, he also adds fire to the rumor that Google Inc. (GOOG) will for some reason add a Chrome browser app for iOS.  As unlikely as that seems, given Apple and Google's adversarial relationship Mr. Limi claims that iOS Chrome will land "soon".

Apple first relaxed iOS browser restrictions a few years back.  But it wasn't until April 2010 that the company approved a true third party browser -- Opera Mini by Opera Software ASA (OSE:OPERA).  Since then a variety of browsers have come out, including Atomic, Dolphin, Mercury, and Skyfire.  But Mozilla insists the best is yet to come.

Source: The Verge

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